Periodical Cicada "Flagging:" Leaves at Tips of Branches are Turning Brown

Round 1 of the Periodical Cicada:

The emergence of Brood V of the 17-year periodical cicadas (Magicicada spp.) lived up to all expectations within the "cicada zone" in eastern Ohio, parts of West Virginia, and a very small part of southwest Pennsylvania.  Adults emerged in huge numbers, they climbed trees or flew to new trees, males serenaded cicada females with cacophonous songs only appreciated by the females, and mated females inserted eggs into stems.  The cicada adults are now dead and gone.

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Joe Boggs

Holy Heck Batman! What Happened to My Asters!!!!

I haven't been in my perennial garden for a few days so when I went in last night to do some weeding, I was shocked by the damage to my asters caused by the chrysanthemum lacebug.  Holy heck is a toned-down version of what I really said.  These lacebugs had totally obliterated the three plants (two different cultivars) in my beds.  My only option at this time is to cut them to the ground and hope we get enough rain to push new growth so that they bloom this year sometime before Christmas!  

 

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Pam Bennett

Are You Checking Your Arborvitaes (and other Evergreens) for Bagworms?

Have you looked closely at your arborvitaes and other bagworm-susceptible evergreens such as Juniper?  Bagworms are a little easier to see now as the needle clad "bags" are beginning to turn brown.  These caterpillars can creep up on you and strip a plant before you know it so keep your eyes out and regularly inspect.  I have been watching a nearby arborvitae and noticed that the bags on this particular plant in Clark County are anywhere from 1/4" to 1" in size.  As they get bigger, they are much easier to spot.  When bagworms first hatch, it's even a challenge to the untrained eye to find...

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Pam Bennett

Poison Hemlock Going to Seed

Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum) is among the most deadly plants in North America.  This non-native invasive weed contains highly toxic piperidine alkaloid compounds, including coniine and gamma-coniceine, which cause respiratory failure and death when ingested by mammals.

 

TOXICITY:

Poison hemlock is native to North Africa and Eurasia including Greece.  It's the plant behind Socrates' famous last words, "I drank what?"  Or, maybe it was, "don't try this at home."  Just kidding.  In fact, it was the plant used to poison...

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Joe Boggs

Ash Leaf Spot

There is no doubt that treatments with systemic insecticides can protect ash trees from the ravages of emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) (EAB).  However, insecticide treatments against EAB will not produce super ash trees.  Treated trees are still susceptible to a range of pest and disease problems that were observed on ash trees long before EAB arrived on the scene.  This includes fungal leaf spots.

 

Fungal leaf spots on ash may be caused by two different fungi:  Mycosphaerella effigurata and M. fraxinicola.  The diseases associated with...

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Joe Boggs

Guignardia Leaf Blotch Red Alert

Guignardia leaf blotch of Aescelus produced by the fungus, Guignardia aesculi, is becoming evident on buckeyes and horsechestnuts in many areas of Ohio.  The fungal spores require moisture to spread to new growth in the spring and to germinate to initiate foliar infections.  Infections and resulting symptoms then progress rapidly during warm summer months.

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Joe Boggs

Grasshoppers Abound

During our BYGL Inservice call this past Tuesday; Pam Bennett (Clark County) and Amy Stone (Lucas County) reported observing high grasshopper populations in southwest and northwest Ohio, respectively.  This is the time of year when most grasshoppers are still nymphs which may make identification a challenge.  However, the four most common grasshopper species found in Ohio landscapes include the Differential Grasshopper (Melanoplus differentialis), Red-Legged Grasshopper (M. femurrubrum), Green-Legged Grasshopper (M. viridipes), and the Carolina Locust (Dissosteira...

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Joe Boggs

Assassin Bug Nymphs

Insects belonging to the Hemipteran family Reduviidae are collectively known as assassin bugs.  The family includes over 160 species in North America and all are meat eaters.  The common name for the family clearly describes how these stealthy hunters make a living.  The bugs are equipped with piercing-sucking mouthparts that are used to inject paralyzing and pre-digestive enzymes into their prey.  They then suck the essence-of-insect from their hapless victims.

 

Assassin bugs pass through three developmental stages:  eggs, nymphs, and adults.  This is known as "incomplete...

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Joe Boggs

Japanese Beetles Making a Comeback

I have received numerous reports and pictures from southern and central Ohio of heavy localized Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica) populations.  Infestations are not widespread; however, where they are occurring beetles are being found in high numbers feeding on a wide range of hosts from favorite foods such wild grape, linden trees, and roses to some unusual hosts such as oak.  Dan Potter (Department of Entomology, University of Kentucky) has also reported high populations in Lexington, KY.

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Joe Boggs

Bagworms on Deciduous Trees

Common bagworm (Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis) populations crashed a few years ago in Ohio with this general defoliator becoming a rare find.  This changed last season with significant localized populations observed in many areas of the state and the trend appears to be continuing this season.  I've recently found several heavy infestations in southern Ohio with significant damage now becoming very evident.

 

It is a common misconception that bagworms only eat evergreens; however, the caterpillars can feed on over 130 different species of plants including a wide...

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Joe Boggs